Friday, January 29, 2010

Reading this blog post may help you burn some calories

...Because I'm about to make you jump around (OK, did you just get "Jump Around" by House of Pain stuck in your head, too? Yes, I was in high school in the early 90's, why do you ask?).

First, I want to remind you about my contest that ends TOMORROW! Click here to read the post. Click here if you'd like to jump on over to Kookie Krums and place an order.

Next, I am so excited to make a belated announcement about my dad's new blog! (I'm way behind on this, as I think he already has five posts up.)

My dad was recently diagnosed with Amyloidosis and Multiple Myeloma. And although the diseases are out to get him physically, I am grateful that there are two things these monsters can't take away: his faith and his sense of humor.

You'll find both at "A Cheerful Heart Is Good Medicine".

So, if you haven't visited yet, I'm incredibly excited to introduce you to my dad and his blog. While he's in the hospital, different members of the family will take turns updating everyone on his status. It'll be a great place to follow his story and get specific ways to pray for him. I'd love it if you'd check it out

And if you want to bookmark the page, his blog address is

Are you working up a blog-hopping sweat yet? I hope so, because...

I came to get down
I came to get down
So get out yo seat and jump around!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Favor?


Hey there! How you doin'?
Me? I'm just hanging out.
Listen... Could you do me a favor, though, Mom?


Could you just hand me that paci over there? That would be swell.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Boy


The light is blinking on my home phone's answering machine as I clean up the kitchen tonight. It's a message from the school's administrative office. My Kindergartener's online registration needs to be updated by such-and-such a deadline.

I make a mental note as I scoop my sleeping boy off the couch. Those long legs, bearing a matching set of skinned up knees, wrap around my waist and I hurry to deposit him in his little bed.

The ever-present reminder of KINDERGARTEN THIS FALL (!!!) has made me more than a little wistful. I watch my nearly-five-year old sleeping with a countenance as soft and angelic as my newborn baby's.

How can that little boy be old enough for Kindergarten?

Don't get me wrong... I mean, he sometimes acts a little more like he's thirty.
("Hey Mom! Good morning, how's your back feeling today? I think I'll have a blueberry waffle as soon as I get dressed")

At other times, he seems to only muster the maturity of a toddler.
("Drew! Get that action figure out of your mouth! We don't put toys in our mouths, son!!! It's gross AND dangerous!")

Somtimes he cries when another child accidentally steps on his foot.
But he won't shed a tear when he acquires a double dose of scraped knees on the playground at school.

He dresses himself, feeds himself, monitors his own behavior ("Mom, I'm turning off the T.V. because Sponge Bob is coming on and I know you don't like that show!").
Yet he still must wear a Pull-Up to get him through the night.

He can carry his sister across the house, holding her securely in his strong arms.
Those same arms, however, get tired and restless after holding a bottle to her mouth for more than 60 seconds.

His manners... impeccable.
Unless, of course, he's interrupting my conversation with another adult to demand food or drink or a piece of gum.

His little legs can pedal a bicycle more than 7 miles when he's challenged to keep up with his daddy on a Saturday morning ride.
But he's got a good mind to use those legs to stomp and kick and throw quite a tantrum when he's told to come in from playing.

We're crossing a bridge from "little" to "big" boy.
And when he insists on riding his bike across that bridge, I can barely keep up.

I can barely stand to keep up.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Miracle Gro

Perhaps we should stop putting it in her bottles?

I don't know... what do you think?

Miss M at one month:

And at three months:

Sorry to make this post short, but for some reason I just remembered I needed to call the chiropractor.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Typical Conversation

A typical conversation with Drew usually goes something like the one we had today:

"Hey Mom, If God is right here next to us, why can't I see Him?"

Well, because He's so big and so holy that you can't see Him with your human eyes... not the way you can see other people.

"What's HOLY mean?"

Um... beautiful, amazing? Here's an example. You know Moses from the Bible? Well, one time he only saw the back of God's clothes and his face glowed for weeks. Now that's a holy God!


A few minutes passed, then I heard him singing.

"Holy, Holy, Holy"

How sweet, I thought.

He continued,

"Holy Guacamole!"

Ah... that's my son.

"Hey Mom!"

Yes, Drew?

"You went to Guacamole, didn't you?"

You mean Guatemala?

"Yes, Guatemala! That's it. But they sound alike, don't they?"
"Guacamole. Guatemala."

You're right they do.

"Guacamole, Guatemala. Guacamole, Guatemala. Guacamole, Guatemala."

Yes, buddy. Good talk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Table for Two"

Never have sweeter words escaped my lips.

I stole my man away last night after a last-minute phone call to the world's best babysitter (GRANDMA!).

I realized yesterday that we had not yet celebrated his birthday... and if we didn't do something last night, it would be another two weeks before we had another opportunity to be together. (Yes, our calendars are THAT full for the next couple of weeks - it's terrible).

So, Grandma came over and we hurried out. We considered dinner and a movie but never made it past dessert.

For two hours, we just sat in a restaurant and enjoyed eachother.

There were no dishes to clear away. No milk spills to clean up. No bribing any children to eat "one more bite". No crayons falling on the floor. No pacifiers falling on the floor. No spit-up or drool to wipe away. No "Shush"-ing. No rocking. No potty breaks. No diaper changes.

At our tiny little table for two, there was just good food and better conversation. We discussed the "big" topics: Kindergarten, finances, goals for the year. We discussed the little stuff, too: How much Drew liked the chicken fingers at "Red Blobsters", and how I was convinced that Miss M almost said "Thank you" the other day (she's brilliant, I tell you!).

We laughed a little and smiled a lot. We ordered dessert. I forgot about my "Points" and ate two bites of a delicious, gooey, carmel-drenched brownie topped with melting ice cream.

And the hand I grabbed as I walked back to the car was not the habitual gesture of protection, but one of affection.

When we got home, one child cried because he missed us, and the other slept soundly because, quite frankly, she didn't miss us at all.

We jumped back into bedtimes and bottles without missing a beat.

Because it was good food last night.
For our tummies and our souls!

Friday, January 15, 2010


Thirty-something plus one today...

Happy Birthday to a man who has a heart for the Lord, a mind for business, and an unwavering devotion to his family.

I'd mention something about those rock-hard abs - but seriously, our parents read this blog, too!

I love you.
I admire you.
I respect you.
I'm grateful to God for you.

And most days, I'm still amazed that I snagged you as my hubby!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gold Stars

I am 33 years old. A college graduate. A wife of eleven years. A mother of two. Two full-time careers under my belt and two current part-time ones.

I own a car, a mortgage and even a pair of sensible shoes or two (oh, I own more shoes than that... the rest just aren't sensible).

In other words, I think I qualify as a grown-up.

So, could someone please explain, then, why a Gold Star still works as an effective form of motivation for me??

Today I attended my second Weight Watchers meeting (in completion of my first week on the program...again). I was thrilled when the lady behind the desk placed my sticker in my book.

Five pounds of weight - GONE! In one week!

I was thrilled enough with the news. But THEN...

THEN... she gave me a GOLD STAR to put in my book.

I showed it to my son when I picked him up from school.
He was thrilled for me.
Because he's FOUR YEARS OLD.
A socially acceptable age to be enamored by a sticker.

Nevertheless, my gold star is working for me today.
And I need all the motivation I can get, since there's a plate of brownies and blue-sprinkled sugar cookies sitting less than ten feet from my desk at work.

Speaking of treats - have you visited Kookie Krums yet? Don't forget to order some cookies during the month of January. All orders placed will help my friend Jackson provide meals for the Ronald McDonald house (read more here). And if you leave a comment on my post below (here), you could win a free bouquet of cookies!!

Or a pretty gold sticker.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cookies for A Cause

Or Kookies for a Kause, perhaps?

My favorite sweet boutique, Kookie Krums, is generously supporting a cause that's very close to my heart this month.

See the flyer below for more details.

Basically, proceeds from orders placed during the month of January will help my friend's son Jackson provide meals for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

Jackson and his 3 brothers live across the street from us, we go to church together, and I've made reference to their family several times through my blog. They are dear, dear friends. And I couldn't be happier to promote a way to help them help others.

If you're not familiar with Jackson's own story (and his fight against leukemia) click here for his family's Caring Bridge site.

So... do you have any occasions coming up that you could celebrate by sending someone a bouquet of cookies? Well then, scoot on over to Kookie Krums right now.

And you know what... Yeah, this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to draw one name from my comments on this post and send YOU a free cookie bouquet. And for every order YOU place with Kookie Krums, you'll get your name entered into the drawing again.

So, enter once by leaving me a comment. Enter a second, third, fourth or tenth time for each order you place there.

Comments and contest close on January 31st.

Let's help Jackson feed some families in need!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sweet Rolls

Based on her personality, we could nickname our daughter "Mellow Yellow".



But if we were going by the numbers, we'd really need to call her "Chunky Monkey".

Our little (and I use that term loosely) girl had her 2 month check up this morning. She weighed in at 14 lbs, 3 oz which puts her in the "Greater than 100%" percentile on weight. At 24 1/4 inches, she's in the 97th percentile in height.


And I'm in love with every one of those sweet baby rolls.


And both of those chins.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Make-up Mishaps

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves spending the midnight hours of a Sunday/Monday in the emergency room of All Children's Hospital with our fragile, sick little Miss M.

She'd been coughing and sneezing for a few days, but by that Sunday afternoon before Christmas, she developed a high fever. A few calls back and forth with our pediatrician confirmed our fears. Because she hadn't received her vaccines and was younger than 8 weeks, we had to bring her to the area's foremost pediatric hospital immediately.

(I cringe as I relive the hours of procedures that included needles and spinal taps. A newborn looks especially little when lying on a hospital bed.)

We took the evening's events in stride and praised God for the relatively harmless dianosis of RSV. That is, until two days later, when at the crack of dawn our house phone rang. I heard my husband answer, and his side of the conversation included the question, "So should we just bring her straight to the ER?".

I just looked at him in disbelief as he hung up and relayed the information. Cultures had begun growing on the bloodwork samples they took Sunday evening. They asked us to bring our little one back down to the hospital for additional blood draws.

I found myself making that long drive back down to St. Petersburg only moments after I'd hurriedly packed a diaper bag with a few essentials. When I pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, the brief glance into the rear view mirror stopped me in my tracks.

I looked awful. Dark circles (which I'm prone to even on a good day) encircled my eyes, and I hadn't applied a stitch of make-up in days. My lips and cheeks were pale and colorless, and my hair was a mess.

So, in a decision I'm not proud of in retrospect, I took a moment to groom myself. Smoothing down my hair with one hand, I dug through the diaper bag with the other, only to find a shade of lipstick I vaguely remembered buying but never trying. Good enough. I applied the deep, indulgent shade of red onto my lips and took inventory of my progress.

Fantastic. All I needed to complete my look was a cigarette and some fishnets. But I had no time left to fix myself. My thoughts shifted back to my sweet little sniffly baby in the back seat.

We made it through our second emergency room visit, which ended up as nothing more than a dose of IV antibiotics and another collection of blood (days later, the confirmation came that the first bloodwork had been contaminated - no bacterial infections and a clean bill of health were given).

A few hours later, I found myself pulling back out of the hospital parking lot. As I shifted the car into reverse, I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in that ever-present rear view mirror again and laughed out loud.

I had to hand it to Revlon and their Colorstay collection of products. Because my lipstick hadn't faded one bit. I was almost as pitiful to look upon as my infant daughter, with all those bandaids covering holes in her little hands, thighs, and back.

So, when my blush brush fell out of my makeup bag today while I was driving and landed in my open mug of coffee, I laughed out loud again when my initial thought was to quickly try to salvage it from the hot liquid.

"Oh... yes, as a matter of fact I am trying a new look. Thanks for noticing. I call the cheek color 'Mocha' and the lip shade description is 'Working Girl'! What do you think?"

With all my make-up mishaps, I sure am glad that the Design Girl is in charge of how my blog looks.

Speaking of which... I just ordered up a new look for my blog and can't wait to begin working with Danielle on the details. Keep checking back often, as I plan to incorporate a few new elements in the coming weeks.

(New Year's Resolutions Update: I'm so glad that so many of you resolve to spend more time with Jesus... reading the Bible, praying, seeking Him in your lives this year. I'd love to for us to hold each other accountable. Let me know how I can help you & pray for you!

As for me, I've been following along with the one-year reading plan in my new Bible and am only a day behind. My friend and I will attend our first Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow night, and I attended the preview class for Financial Peace University last night.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

I resolve...

Yep, I am totally into New Year's Resolutions. I love them. I don't care if I break them come January's end. It's enough for me that I tried. That I set some goals. That I have taken an inventory of the things I want to do a little better and the things I want to avoid all together.

And so, I present you with a small snapshot into my list of New Year's Resolutions.

1. Lose the baby weight. Yeah, it's cliche', but if there's ever a time to list it as a resolution, right after having a baby seems like a good time to me. A friend and I are joining Weight Watchers next week. And I'm thrilled. WW helped me lose weight after Drew was born (alright... a year after Drew was born) and I'm excited for the hope that I can start wearing my clothes again sometime soon.

2. Read the Bible every day. Now, I could have moved this to "Item #1" and probably should have, but in an effort to be transparent, the weight loss was the first thing that came to mind, and I just want you to know that I'm keeping it real.

The hubby and I got a chronological study Bible for Christmas and it's fascinating. The books of this Bible aren't in the "canonical" order... they actually go chronologically, so you could be reading in 1 Kings and it will jump to a Psalm or a chapter of 1 Chronicles. I am really hoping that this gives me a fresh perspective on my knowledge of the Bible. I plan to read through this Bible in a year - something I've never done before but have always wanted to do.

3. Become more financially disciplined. Our church frequently offers the Dave Ramsey course, and a preview class begins tomorrow night. My dear hubby handles all our finances to the point that I often can't even remember where we bank. Ignorance in this case, is probably not bliss. It's about time I grow up and take some responsibility. Bleh...

4. Blog more. Hey - you can hold me accountable for this one! In the craziness of daily life, I often put the blog on the backburner. Which is probably fine. It's just that this blog allows me the opportunity to practice my writing skills, something I resolve to work on more regularly this year.

And I think I'll stop right there. With a four year old in my house, everything usually happens in 4's for him. Four carrots on his dinner plate, four books at night, four more minutes in the backyard.

And four resolutions to begin the new year.

What have you resolved to do? I'd love to hear from you!